Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Areus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics. The majority of infections caused by MRSA occur in the hospitals or other healthcare settings. However, in recent years, we have been seeing a dramatic increase in MRSA infections in the community. Data from a prospective study in 2003, suggests that 12% of clinical MRSA infections are community-associated.
MRSA causes treatment-resistant infections of the skin that may lead to cellulitis, pneumonia, sepsis, or even death. A serious MRSA infection may cause symptoms such as fever, chills, low blood pressure, joint pain, severe headache, shortness of breath, or a rash all over the body.
Recently, scientists identified a new strain of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococus Areus that is resistant to most treatments. According to the investigators, infections with the new strain of MRSA are linked with high-risk behaviors, such as drug use, sex with multiple partners, and a history of sexually transmitted disease.
Among factors associated with high rates of transmission of MRSA is close skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual, poor personal hygiene, contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, and crowded living conditions.
You can protect yourself from an infection with MRSA.
Take these steps:
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2. When unable to wash hands with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Keep all cuts and scrapes covered with a bandaid until they are completely healed.
4. Avoid contact with wounds and bandages of other people.
5. Do not share personal items.